Audi brings Gran Turismo to life
Audi has revealed a real-world version of its pure-electric etron Vision Gran Turismo racecar made famous by Playstation 4 gaming franchise Gran Turismo, with the one-off concept to serve as a ‘race taxi’ at European Formula E motorsport events this year.
The e-tron Vision Gran Turismo was conceived in virtual form following Gran Turismo’s 20th anniversary last year, while its physical guise was designed and produced in just 11 months by the car-maker’s preproduction centre.
As a fully functional vehicle, the e-tron Vision Gran Turismo features three electric motors – two driving the rear axle and one propelling the front wheels – that produce 200kw each for a total system power output of 600kw.
Given its powertrain set-up, the etron Vision Gran Turismo includes a permanent all-wheel-drive system with variable power distribution, which enables a sprint from standstill to 100kmh in less than 2.5 seconds.
This performance is aided by a kerb weight of just 1450 kilograms, while handling is optimised thanks to perfect 50:50 weight distribution between the front and rear axles.
Critically, individual components from future Audi e-tron models – including the e-tron quattro, e-tron Sportback and e-tron GT – have been employed by the e-tron Vision Gran Turismo.
According to Audi chief designer Marc Lichte, the company did not want to deliver a surface-level e-tron Vision Gran Turismo concept, so it instead pursued a legitimate racecar. “Although the design of a virtual vehicle allows much greater freedom and the creation of concepts which are only hard to implement in reality, we did not want to put a purely fictitious concept on wheels. Our aim was a fully functional car,” he said.
“The Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo shows that electric mobility at Audi is very emotive.
“This car incorporates numerous elements of our new design language, such as the inverted single frame in the vehicle’s colour, that will be typical for our new e-tron models.”
Starting with the Formula E race in Rome, Italy on April 14, the brand will offer customers and guests ‘race taxi’ passenger-seat rides around the city circuits in the e-tron Vision Gran Turismo.
Either Swiss DTM driver Rahel Frey or Italian Le Mans winner Dindo Capello will be at the wheel of the e-tron Vision Gran Turismo during the hot laps, which are also set to take place at numerous non-formula E events in 2018.
Audi was the first German manufacturer to enter the Formula E competition with a factory-backed commitment, allowing it to further develop its e-tron line-up via the race-to-road method.
RACE TO ROAD: Audi set to improve its forthcoming e-tron models by entering the pure-electric Formula E competition in 2017.